Arab Strap – Stream the New Album, Read Our Review of It, and Read Our Interview with the Band

Mar 05, 2021
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Kat Gollack

Scottish duo Arab Strap (Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton) have released a new album, As Days Get Dark, today via Rock Action. It’s their first album in almost 16 years and now that’s it’s out you can stream it below. Also, yesterday we posted our review of the album (read it here) and on Wednesday we posted our new My Firsts interview with Middleton (read it here).

Speaking on the album in a previous press release announcing it, Moffat had this to say, “It’s about hopelessness and darkness, but in a fun way.” Moffat goes on to clarify that the intent for this latest album is not to “recapture the ’90s,” but to capture something new and unexplored for the group. “This album feels like its own new thing to me,” he says. “It’s definitely Arab Strap, but an older and wiser one, and quite probably a better one. I’ve never been interested in making slick records, but the new stuff sounds much fuller, brighter and better because we actually know what we’re doing. I think for a long time we didn’t know how to express what we wanted in a studio.” Nonetheless, he still reaffirms that “we’re still doing what we always do: Malcolm [Middleton] gives me some guitar parts then I’ll fuck about with them and put some drum machines and words over the top.” 

Middleton had this to say: “We’ve had enough distance from our earlier work to reappraise and dissect the good and bad elements of what we did. Not many bands get to do this, so it’s great to split up.”

For this album, Moffat and Middleton have reconnected with producer Paul Savage. “Paul brings comfort and trust,” says Middleton, “and a sense of continuity.”

Middleton adds: “There’s no point getting back together to release mediocrity.” 

Arab Strap previously shared the song “Compersion Pt. 1” from their upcoming album back in November, and it made it to our Songs of the Week list. Before that, in October, they shared the album’s opening track, “The Turning of Our Bones,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. In February they shared a dark and violent video for the album’s third single, “Here Comes Comus!”

The band’s last album was 2005’s The Last Romance. Arab Strap were interviewed in Under the Radar’s very first print issue in 2001, for The Red Thread, an album released the same year. 

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